by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
February - The Shortest Month The good news about February is that itâ€™s the shortest month, and the promise of spring is just around the corner. If you can motivate yourself, there are some gardening activities that can be done inside and out on some of those milder February days. If you didnâ€™t get to it earlier, you can prune hybrid tea roses now, removing old canes and lowering the plants to a height of 12 to 15 inches. Apply a drop of white glue or place a thumb tack at the end of the freshly cut canes to prevent borers from laying their eggs on the cut. This is a good time to apply a dormant spray of lime-sulfur and dormant oil before active growth appears. Make sure you clean the cut canes out of the rose bed. Discard old foliage and remove the old mulch that has weeds. Re-apply a fresh layer of mulch to the rose beds. Another outside activity is to prune your clumps of ornamen-
Placing a spot of glue at the end of each freshly cut cane will dissuade borers from laying their eggs there. tal grasses before new growth appears. Tie a rope around the clumps and cut them down to the correct height with a hedge trimmer. If you use hay and manure in the garden, one way to make it weed-free is to spread it on the soil in late winter, water well, and cover with black plastic. The weed 83
Tidewater Times February 2015